Jordan. King Abdullah continued during the year to try to curb the growing dissatisfaction of the population through careful reforms. Prime Minister Awn al-Khasawneh resigned in April after only six months in office. He had been criticized by the opposition for failing to implement promised reforms and gave up everything because of the inertia of the system. King Abdullah replaced him with Fayez Tarawneh, who had been prime minister under Abdullah’s father King Hussein and who was considered more conservative. It was the fourth time since the outbreak of the Arab Spring of 2011 that the country received a new prime minister. The fifth time was in October, when the King disbanded Parliament, announced new elections until January 2013 and appointed a new acting Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour.
A new electoral law came into force in July. The number of MPs was increased from 120 to 150, more seats were reserved for party-elected candidates and each voter was given two votes, one for local candidates and one for national. The king also promised that Parliament would be given power to appoint the country’s prime minister, something he had done so far himself. Critics said the changes were cosmetic because they did not give Parliament power over laws and budgets and also disadvantaged Jordanians with Palestinian backgrounds.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Jordan. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
The opposition became increasingly sharp in its criticism of the great unemployment and the widespread corruption. When the government announced in mid-November that subsidies on gas and other fuel were falling, tens of thousands of protesters were out on the streets across the country. In many places, the demonstrations degenerated in crows and at least one protester was killed.
Eleven people were arrested in October for suspected terrorist acts against shopping malls and Western diplomats in the capital Amman.
In April, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch criticized the authorities for violating freedom of expression. The organization pointed to several cases where opposites had been arrested since they, e.g. had criticized the king.
Jordan received hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria.
According to countryaah, the population of Jordan in 2012 was 9,266,464, ranking number 93 in the world. The population growth rate was 5.000% yearly, and the population density was 104.3768 people per km2.
The Likud right’s conquest of government leadership in Israel (1977) and the peace agreement reached between al-Sādāt’s Egypt and Israel (1979), with the equivocal formula of autonomy for the West Bank (moreover, never implemented), placed the diplomatic action of Jordan in difficulty, aimed at recovering the territories lost in 1967. This is also because ῾Ammān, despite everything, had continued to consider Labor as privileged interlocutors.
Hence the initiative for a gradual rapprochement with the PLO, in order to induce the United States to support the formula of a Jordanian-Palestinian state that would lead Israel to withdraw from the disputed areas. It is with these intentions that King Ḥusayn agreed to meet Yāsir ῾Arafāt on November 19, 1979, also undertaking to seek some sort of endorsement from Moscow (visit to the USSR in May 1981), in exchange for the availability for the Soviet-sponsored project of a International Conference on the Middle East under the aegis of the UN.
Mubārak succeeded al-Sādāt, and therefore also obtained Egyptian support, this address led to the signing of the agreement between King Ḥusayn and ῾Arafāt on 11 February 1985. However, after only one year (February 1986), the agreement it was set aside for settlements with the United States, which proved inconclusive, and for the unwillingness shown by Tel-Aviv. Following the outbreak of the Palestinian revolt, Jordan then announced (28 July 1988) the official and unilateral renunciation of all claims on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, leaving the PLO direct responsibility for the evolution in those territories..
Moreover, Jordan was not extraneous to the events of the Arab world, for example. siding in support of ‘Irāq in the war with Iran or by joining the Arab Cooperation Council with Egypt,’ Irāq and North Yemen (established on February 16, 1989).
But despite the efforts to navigate the troubled chessboard, the socio-economic structure of Jordan remained fragile, as confirmed by the alternation from 1979 to 1989 of seven prime ministers. Furthermore, there was no lack of agitation against the not very liberal attitude in which the authorities insisted, as demonstrated by the student revolt at the University of Yarmūk in 1986, severely repressed, and by the tensions between the more dynamic and modernization-oriented population of Palestinian origin., and that of strongly traditionalist Bedouin extraction.
If we add to these problems the difficulties that emerged towards the end of 1988, with the conclusion of the ten-year plan of Arab aid for the so-called front-line countries, and the constraints decided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to renegotiate debts towards the abroad and granting new credits (currency devaluation, increases in consumer goods and services), we understand the reasons for the wave of protests and riots that occurred in various places in April 1989, while King Ḥusayn was meeting with President G Bush, and culminated in the ousting of Prime Minister Zaid Rifa῾ī replaced by Zaid Ben Šākir, head of the royal cabinet and adviser for military affairs, former head of the armed forces.
Starting an opening process with the elections of 8 November 1989, Jordan managed, not without difficulty, to orient itself during the ῾Irāq-Kuwait crisis of the winter of 1990-91, amid pro-Iraqi popular pressures and Saudi pressures. and Westerners against ṣaddām Ḥusayn, essentially assuming a position of neutrality. This allowed the subsequent recovery of good relations with Washington and the participation with a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation in the initiative for the Arab-Israeli Peace Conference promoted by the United States in October 1991.
In April 1992, King Ḥusayn formally abolished the set of rules relating to martial law, introduced after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.